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SFO drops Vincent Tchenguiz investigation

SFO says there are “no longer reasonable grounds” to suspect property tycoon as it continues investigation into bank collapse.

By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Jun 19, 2012 | comments

The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed to FTAdviser that it has dropped its long-running probe into property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz, as it continues its investigation into the collapse of Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

The decision to drop its investigation comes less than a month after David Green, the SFO’s newly installed director, announced he would personally oversee a review into the case against Vincent Tchenguiz.

Vincent Tchenguiz and his younger brother Robert have been at the centre of a 2½-year probe by the SFO into the 2008 collapse of Kaupthing, the Icelandic bank. Robert Tchenguiz remains under investigation.

The case has been marred with errors, with the SFO being forced to concede there were factual errors with the evidence it used to obtain search warrants against the pair. The problems with the investigation were the subject of judicial review last month – the result of which is yet to be announced.

A spokeperson for the SFO said: “I can confirm that the SFO yesterday morning informed Mr Vincent Tchenguiz that there are now no longer reasonable grounds to consider him a suspect in the investigation into the collapse of Kaupthing Bank. Arrangements are underway for the cancellation of his bail [by the City of London Police]

“The status of Mr Robert Tchenguiz remains unchanged. The Kaupthing case itself has not been dropped. Yesterday’s event related only to Mr Vincent Tchenguiz being declassified as a suspect and therefore no longer subject to bail.”

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